Talk about a tear-jerker! Author Kathi Appelt has just simply outdone herself with this beautiful work of imagery, honesty, and the true meaning of family. I fell in love with Keeper, Signe, Dogie, Captain, BD, and all of the other characters from their first appearances in the story and just wanted to sweep Keeper up into a huge hug after almost every chapter.
Appelt has a gift of giving her readers beautiful visuals through her writing. The imagery and descriptions were top-notch, and the language was flowing and magical, like the ocean the story takes place by. The transitions between the human narrators and the animal ones are seamless and the suspense-build is nicely paced.
Adults and children will both be enchanted by Keeper's story, making this a fantastic family book, perfect for bedtime. The story is going to hold anyone's attention, though some of the descriptions and imagery may go over the young one's level of understanding. That's ok though, because the using your imagination during the read is totally allowed!
The love the author poured into the writing of Keeper is completely apparent on every single page. Each of these character's were loved and cared for as they were written, and you'll find a favorite very quickly. For me, it was Dogie. Surfer, Signe's kind and loving boyfriend, and Keeper's "employer," Dogie has a beautiful, honest soul. He would do anything for Keeper. I would love to see a book with Dogie as the main character (a YA novel showcasing the creation of he and Signe's relationship maybe??)...so if you're reading this Kathi Appelt, take note!
As much as I'm in love with this book, it did have some mature themes, which may or may not be an issue. They'll go over the heads of younger children, but may evoke discussion with the older ones. I actually think the darkness of some of the issues added an extra element to an otherwise, childlike story...the world is not a utopia. There is not perfection. But there always will be family and love.
Read this aloud to your family...it has such wonderful elements that will make it an amazing story to be heard. It's a tad bit long, but enchanting all the same.
Review copy received from publisher